It’s a little scary to set a big goal like qualifying and running the Boston Marathon. While it’s to say that I’m going to do something I’ve always wanted to do – it’s a whole other thing to actually sit down and make a plan for how to accomplish it.
So here’s what I’ve done so far:
1) Decide to set the goal. I woke up last Thursday morning with clarity. I know that I’m ready for this challenge and I’m willing to do it.
2) Check the Boston Marathon website to figure out exactly what time I need to achieve in order to qualify. Since I’ll be 40 next year, my qualifying marathon time needs to be at most 3:45. The race grants registrations according to the fastest qualifying runners so I’m hoping to run it substantially faster – like in 3:30 – to ensure I get in. (I think of it like getting into college – while the requirement may be to have a 3.8 GPA, you’ll be much better positioned if your GPA is even higher!)
3) Choose a qualifying race. Since I live in Walnut Creek, California and I’ve seen a lot of advice to suggest that close races are better for big goals like this, I am going to register for the Santa Rosa Marathon. It’s about 1 hour from my home and a whopping 84% of racers in that race last year qualified for Boston. It’s also a pretty flat course and it’s in late August so it’s very close to the qualifying deadline. All good things!
The list of items I have yet to do is incredibly long. Right now, I’m still training for a half marathon I’m doing here in WC on December 14. I’ve got one more half on the books (the Kaiser Half Marathon in San Francisco in February). Throughout the next several months, I’ll be working on my speed, endurance, stamina, nutrition, form, core and psychological readiness. I only have to run twice as far as I ever have before and take 2 minutes per mile off my time. Should be doable, right?
Or maybe I’m just crazy…either way – I’m giving it all I’ve got!